News Reznor to Fans: “Steal My Music”
posted by September 19 at 14:37 PMon
At a performance in Sydney, Australia three days ago, Nine Inch Nails frontperson Trent Reznor berated the “greedy fucking assholes” at Interscope, his label home for over 10 years, for gouging Australian fans on the price of CDs.
“Has anybody seen the price come down [since the last time I was here]?” he asks.
The crowd responds with a resounding “NO!”
“Well, you know what that means—steal it! Steal away! Give it to all your friends and keep on stealing!”
In the unresolvable, hopelessly vague debate over illegal downloading, music industry fatalism, and artists’ rights, it’s refreshing to see a certified rock star giving a huge middle finger to the pretty hate machine he rode in on.
His rant is somewhat hypocritical—Reznor’s already made his millions, so why fuck it up for the little guy? But it’s also heroic—he’s not encouraging piracy, he’s encouraging his fans to get his music by any means necessary. Doing so from the stage, during his own concert, is the only way to legitimize it (though who knows how much Australian fans had to pay for the show).
Reznor’s relationship with Interscope is unclear—his own Nothing Records was long a subsidiary of Interscope, but some reports claim they split a few years ago. Interscope, however, released this year’s Year Zero. Either way, Reznor is, as usual, forging his own way through the quagmire of the record industry, which is respectable.
Stealing music isn’t wrong if the musician told you to steal it. Right?